Does rehabilitation means getting to play professional football again?
January 10, 2015 5:59 AM   Subscribe

How nice it would have been if the whole sorry saga of Ched Evans had been left in 2014. Unfortunately, Oldham Athletic are the latest team to suggest that they are considering signing the convicted rapist to play for their side, here on the other side of December 31st. If you - like me – think this is a truly terrible, awful decision, then you will be used to hearing the same arguments put forward in his defence, so here is a handy rebuttal guide.
Lucy Hunter Johnson on why convicted rapist Ched Evans shouldn't play football.

Long term Grauniad football commentator Marina Hyde disagrees, argueing that using public pressure to amend legal failings is wrong even when it's about a footballer:
I don’t see any petitions on rape sentencing, unfortunately – an absence that adds to a nagging sense about this latest chapter in the Great Outrage Wars: that clicktivism, and feminist clicktivism too often, is overly preoccupied with fighting the battles it can win relatively easily, rather than the much more ambitious ones it should try to win. Is it aspirational to want to live in a country where football – football! – is expected to mitigate the fact that the law is an ass? I know the longest journey starts with a single step, or whatever the puppy poster peeling off your dentist’s wall says, but the relentless focus on explaining why a footballer is not covered by the idea of paying his debt to society via the criminal justice system is both irrational and increasingly concerning.
Background: Ched Evans is a professional footballer playing for Sheffield United who was convinced of rape and sentenced to five years imprisonment. Early release meant he was out of jail in October 2014.

He himself has always maintained that the only thing he was guilty off was cheating on his girlfriend and there have been suspicions that his family and supporters were behind harassment and outing of the victim, who has had to change her identity several times after being outed online.

Evans has sought to return to his football career, first with Sheffield United, then with Hartlepool, Oldham and Grimsby, each club ultimately declining to sign him after intense public pressure. An attempt to sign with an Maltese club fell through due to the terms of his registration as a sex offender out on license barring him from working abroad.

In the case of Oldham, the club's statement said that the collapse of the deal was due to intense public pressure which included "vile and abusive threats, some including death threats".

Since then Ched Evans has offered his first apologies, though still maintaining his innocence. His case is currently under criminal review; earlier attempts to get his conviction overturned have failed.

The Professional Football Association has said it would support clubs if they want to sign Evans.
posted by MartinWisse (53 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Ched Evans shouldn't play football.

Co-signed.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:13 AM on January 10, 2015 [8 favorites]


Ched Evans shouldn't play professional football again. He lost that career when he raped that woman. It doesn't mean he can't have a career doing something else, but allowing him back sends the wrong message in the same way allowing Michael Vick back did. The harassment of his victim by his fans is just outright horrific.
posted by arcticseal at 6:26 AM on January 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


The whole saga just exposes the deep misogyny of football 'lad' culture. As a British person, I deeply despise that part of the national psyche and wish we'd come a lot further than we have.
posted by Summer at 6:31 AM on January 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


I know a number of people who have struggled to find a job after conviction for much more minor offenses. It should be easier for people convicted for minor crimes to be able to find a job, and much harder for famous rapists to return to the world that enabled, encouraged, and supported them in raping. Let him struggle to get hired at a supermarket or fast food place, instead.
posted by hydropsyche at 6:34 AM on January 10, 2015 [18 favorites]


Professional sports leagues should have codes of conduct, if they don't, that are completely separate from the justice system, so you can't even make arguments like "he served his time."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:40 AM on January 10, 2015 [8 favorites]


Manfeels Park

You'd think football clubs would have rules about this sort of thing. On preview, seconding roomthreeseventeen.
posted by Axle at 6:41 AM on January 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm sorry, but this asshole and his fans have totally destroyed his victim's life, and now he wants to go make millions? Yeah, sure, let me get the gate for you.
posted by nevercalm at 6:49 AM on January 10, 2015 [7 favorites]


In the case of Oldham, the club's statement said that the collapse of the deal was due to intense public pressure which included "vile and abusive threats, some including death threats".

If I'm up-to-date, I think we don't actually know if those threats actually existed. The police had contacted the club after the club said something about threats on Twitter and the club said something to the effect "Nothing to worry about, just people spewing stuff on the internet".

A fair bit of me is inclined to agree with Marina Hyde in the abstract. However, Evans has conducted himself so poorly throughout the whole affair that if I were a supporter of a League One club, I wouldn't want them signing him. (Yeah, he can't actually apologise while trying to appeal, but he's only pulled out the "I can't comment for legal reasons" sentence in the last few days, and this saga has been going on for ages.)
posted by hoyland at 6:50 AM on January 10, 2015


sends the wrong message in the same way allowing Michael Vick back did

I have no dog in the Ched Evans hunt, knowing nothing about his case though it sounds like his conduct and that of his fans and family have been pretty awful.

But Michael Vick is probably not the example you want to use if you think Evans should never play again. He has conducted himself with a previously unseen degree of humility since getting his second chance and has used his bully pulpit to advocate tirelessly against the very crime he committed. There are a lot of people who will obviously never forgive him but if rehabilitation is possible at all, Vick seems well on his way toward being the poster child for it.
posted by localroger at 6:52 AM on January 10, 2015 [24 favorites]


> Professional sports leagues should have codes of conduct, if they don't, that are completely separate from the justice system

The NFL has one, but it didn't do anyone aside from the NFL much good in the Ray Rice case.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:55 AM on January 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's probably a good call; in this post-Gamergate age, Ched Evans has become a symbol of “Men's Rights”, particular the right to take women by force like a strong alpha-male before society was neutered by the politically-correct liberals, and were he to remain a public figure, I can see him becoming a Men's Rights Hero, a sort of Kirk Cameron of violent misogyny, and whatever club hires him getting a strong Gamergate following, in the way that some clubs have neo-Nazi Ultras, with the ideology bleeding over into the neoreactionary/red-pill far-right and taking in homophobia, xenophobia and an eliminationist hostility to anything described as Cultural Marxism by the sorts of people who use that term. Anywhere where they play a match could, in its wake, expect the firebombing of anything from queer bookshops to lingerie shops, along with a spike in opportunistic assaults.
posted by acb at 6:56 AM on January 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


acb - is there visible support from gamegators for ched evans? or are you just using that as a stand in for mra (and has there been support for him from mra dudes)? and do you think the call should have been different pre-gamergate? i mean, plenty of misogynists supporting rapists long before thezoepost...
posted by nadawi at 7:06 AM on January 10, 2015


Going through the #ChedEvans tag on Twitter has made for pretty miserable reading the last few weeks. A huge amount of (mostly young, white) men expressing sympathy for Evans whilst deriding any nay-sayers as "not real football fans". There appears to be a somewhat large subset of people who see the issue as entirely being about sport, not about crime (let alone about wider societal concerns).
posted by kariebookish at 7:27 AM on January 10, 2015


"he served his time."

No, he hasn't. He has served half his time.

On the whole, I agree with Marina Hyde. Fairness dictates he should be allowed to work. But I get to have my cake and eat it too because football is entertainment. If fans object to an entertainer and vote with their feet, the entertainment company will get rid of him. That isnt justice, it is the law of the market. Everyone else has to live by it. Now Evans has found he does too. You would hope that other highly paid entertainers will take the right message from this.

As for the victim, it seems her suffering has only just begun.

Incidentally, football manager Alan Pardew was an occasional pundit on tv until about 18 months ago when he described one player tackling another in a dominant manner by saying, "He absolutely raped him, didnt he ?" Pards was shown the door for that. The victim of that "rape" ? Yep, you guessed it.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 7:35 AM on January 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


acb - is there visible support from gamegators for ched evans?

Not that I've seen, but given that they've been DDOSing trans suicide hotlines, presumably because mens' rights culture war or something, I would be surprised if a convicted rapist who defied the feminist emasculators and cultural-Marxist PC nazis didn't become an icon of the resistance/fightback that they see themselves as. After all, assholes gonna asshole.

or are you just using that as a stand in for mra

Gamergate has become synonymous with MRAs and various far-right extremists; it's no more about “integrity in game journalism” than the American Civil War was about “states' rights”.
posted by acb at 7:40 AM on January 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Perhaps when talking about lives that have been ruined, we should first talk about his victim, and learn from his response to her ruined life.

Oh, good heavens, this.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:40 AM on January 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


Lucy Hunter Thompson has a strong opinion about an emotionally charged topic. Discuss! Well, no, because its pretty clear she has no credentials or any other reason to listen to her opinions on this topic.

Just remember, you should really try to be intellectually consistent, and the strictures placed on him, should be consistent with the wrongly accused poor person of color convicted and jailed for ANY OTHER CRIME. Still think he shouldn't be allowed to optimize his post jail life? Ok, cool.

As far as only serving half his time, thats what society has judged to be appropriate. Again, try to avoid any double-standard.

Why should footballers be any different than teachers, policeman, etc? Well, if you need a prod on this one, got nothing for you.

He hasn't taken responsibility for the actions of his fans? Oh, really?

Can't really quibble with the idea that said rapist is a douchbag rapist, (I mean, seriously, doesn't think that is rape?) but this article doesn't make its point very effectively, no matter how much we might want to hop on board.
posted by sfts2 at 8:20 AM on January 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


No, he hasn't. He has served half his time.

Which is the standard tariff in any British prison sentence. Nobody sentenced to five years actually serves five years. Half the sentence is automatically remitted, unless you start breaking a whole load of prison rules.

Can't really quibble with the idea that said rapist is a douchbag rapist, (I mean, seriously, doesn't think that is rape?)

Why wouldn't Ched be confused? The jury didn't seem that clear on the issue. A drunk woman goes back to a hotel room and seems to have agreed to have sex with two men. The issue that was put before the jury was whether her intoxication makes her capable of giving consent. The jury found one man guilty and one man innocent. Footballer A lives to play on, Footballer B goes to prison.

If I was in Ched's shoes, I'm pretty sure I'd be confused about it as well.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:59 AM on January 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wow. Is this just a case of extra-judicial vengeance combined with a side of tall poppy syndrome?

The whole point of the justice system is the deprivation of liberty is the punishment. What's the point of having punishment, of having reintegration to society if the only outcome after incarceration is the extra-judicial assignment to some post-criminal underclass? I know it feels good to see some rapist jackass fall from grace but so many prisoners get out and are treated unfairly simply because of their history. How successful should we allow post criminals be? Do we pick a dollar number? Far easier to let him be successful and garnish the shit out of his wages to pay for the results of a possible civil suit.
posted by Talez at 9:02 AM on January 10, 2015 [7 favorites]


I can only imagine the horrors of having rabid fans hounding a victim into moving and changing her name. This is a good reason to make sure that when a perpetrator makes entertainment income after the fact of their notoriety, a portion goes to victim compensation, generally and specifically, which could help pay for public awareness to the problem. Barring someone from being great at what they do blatantly misses the chance to use their fame constructively.
posted by Brian B. at 9:03 AM on January 10, 2015


A drunk woman goes back to a hotel room and seems to have agreed to have sex with two men.

To be clear, this is not the case. The woman agreed to go back with the other defendant, who texted Ched Evans to say 'got a bird'. Evans lied to the desk clerk to enter the room, and started to have sex with the woman about a minute later.
posted by threetwentytwo at 9:08 AM on January 10, 2015 [17 favorites]


And he escaped via the fire exit. It was a planned, pre-meditated rape. The evidence is pretty clear.

What also is pretty clear is that he and his family encouraged his 'fans' to stalk and harrass his victim.

combined with a side of tall poppy syndrome

Yes, that's right. Jealousy is behind this. *rolls eyes*
posted by Summer at 9:12 AM on January 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


Yes, that's right. Jealousy is behind this. *rolls eyes*

When we have comments like
Let him struggle to get hired at a supermarket or fast food place, instead.

and talk about him making millions it kind of feels like it.
posted by Talez at 9:17 AM on January 10, 2015


What you are seeing there is anger towards a convicted rapist. Dear god.
posted by Summer at 9:19 AM on January 10, 2015 [24 favorites]


The whole point of the justice system is the deprivation of liberty is the punishment. What's the point of having punishment, of having reintegration to society if the only outcome after incarceration is the extra-judicial assignment to some post-criminal underclass?

From the first link in the post: "We need to be very clear what we mean by rehabilitation. Because rehabilitation does not mean a return to ordinary life, as if nothing has happened. Rehabilitation for Evans is not analogous with playing professional football. He could be rehabilitated without ever touching a ball again.

Rehabilitation is about reintegration into society, with the fundamental basis of this a reasonable understanding that the individual will not reoffend. And this is where we run into some problems, because Evans does not accept that he did anything wrong. In fact, he has repeatedly refused to accept even a modicum of guilt for anything other than cheating on his girlfriend. If he does not understand that what he did was rape, can we be sure he will not reoffend? He has shown no grasp of the issues surrounding consent, so can we really say he is rehabilitated?"

I know it feels good to see some rapist jackass fall from grace but so many prisoners get out and are treated unfairly simply because of their history. How successful should we allow post criminals be? Do we pick a dollar number? Far easier to let him be successful and garnish the shit out of his wages to pay for the results of a possible civil suit.

From the first link in the post: "A rape conviction automatically excludes you from a vast number of professions. A convicted rapist couldn’t be a teacher, doctor or police officer, for example. In fact, there can be few companies that would allow you to walk straight back into your job after leaving jail. Should football be so different?"
posted by 23skidoo at 9:34 AM on January 10, 2015 [16 favorites]


Which is the standard tariff in any British prison sentence

Yes, but he's still got the rest of his licence (the second half) left to serve until later this year, which prevents him from travelling and means any employment has to be approved by his probation officer. And even then his sentence is sufficiently lengthy that after the licence expires, his conviction will never be spent - which means that he will always have to declare it to any potential employer. All of which means that "he's served his time" argument falls flat: for anyone who's finished a custodial sentence, whatever its length, there will always be a period where rehabilitation is balanced with the long-term consequences of committing a serious offence.

And on the point about the two footballers, the Court of Appeal judgment refusing permission to appeal is pretty clear on this.
posted by greycap at 9:46 AM on January 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, no, because its pretty clear she has no credentials or any other reason to listen to her opinions on this topic.

Cool, man. What are yours?

It's not "a double standard" or "extra-judicial vengeance" to argue that, say, the FA should be able to ban a convicted rapist from football for the full length of his sentence. He is, after all, not actually out of the system yet:

It is also not quite correct that he has served his time. He was given a five-year sentence and was released from prison in October after serving half of it inside. So he is serving the rest of it currently, on licence, until April 2017. He must report to his Probation Service offender manager in person regularly, usually every week. That was why the Ministry of Justice made clear at the weekend Evans could not leave the country to play for a club in Malta.

Also, to go back to Michael Vick again, the NFL didn't let him back into the game just because he'd done his time; they let him back in because he said he was sorry, and proved through his words and his actions that he is.
posted by jackflaps at 9:50 AM on January 10, 2015 [8 favorites]


and, most importantly for vick - tony dungy, maybe the most respected moral voice in the nfl (and distinction i disagree with, but that is his reputation), vouched for vick and encourage people privately and publicly to give vick a chance. it really is an entirely different situation (not least of which because dogs are not comparable to women).
posted by nadawi at 10:20 AM on January 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


localroger, Thanks for the update on Michael Vick, I wasn't aware of that info and it is an important distinction. I'd be more open to Evans returning to professional support if he gave a proper apology and supported victims via PSAs and tithed a portion of his earnings for the rest of his career.
posted by arcticseal at 10:24 AM on January 10, 2015


If this person, who is a rapist and refuses to own that, never finds employment again, I will not waste a single solitary tear on him. Let him apply to his family for support. It has nothing to do with the law (which has already had its say) and everything to do with how we as a society treat rapists. We have to stop treating them as ok fellas that just messed up. They are people who committed rape. They have demonstrated a willingness to prey on other people sexually. They are not safe to have in a workplace without a lot of oversight. I sure wouldn't want to work in an office with this guy.

Do we want people to stop raping? Then we have to start making it something that comes with a high cost. Are we going to do that, or not? Are we going to keep caring more about a rapist's ability to pay their bills than the cost to the victims they leave behind?
posted by emjaybee at 11:05 AM on January 10, 2015 [24 favorites]


> When we have comments like

That's not tall poppy syndrome; that's compare-and-contrast to regular people who struggle post-conviction.

I certainly think that, like any other person who has served a criminal sentence, he should be able to get a job and live a life that contributes to rather than injures society, but he's not entitled to get his old job back.
posted by rtha at 11:14 AM on January 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


Tall poppy syndrome? It's not like he's Joey Barton Nile Ranger Steven Gerrard Wayne Rooney.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:17 AM on January 10, 2015


Lucy Hunter Thompson has a strong opinion about an emotionally charged topic. Discuss! Well, no, because its pretty clear she has no credentials or any other reason to listen to her opinions on this topic.

What credentials are needed to talk about rape? I'm eager to know.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 11:21 AM on January 10, 2015 [9 favorites]


"A rape conviction automatically excludes you from a vast number of professions. A convicted rapist couldn’t be a teacher, doctor or police officer, for example. In fact, there can be few companies that would allow you to walk straight back into your job after leaving jail. Should football be so different?"

This seems like a faulty conflation of two ideas.

Convicted rapists participate in certain careers, I presume, because of their proximity to and power over others (and, in particular, children). That's a legal matter, and the courts have not seen fit to add 'professional footballer' to the list.

The second question--"what company would hire back a former convict?"--is one of reputation, and has nothing to do with the law.
posted by dbarefoot at 11:44 AM on January 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


What credentials are needed to talk about rape? I'm eager to know.

At least a BA in Rapeology. Although the BS in Rape Apology is more common in public discourse.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:14 PM on January 10, 2015 [14 favorites]


Oh, and

Can't really quibble with the idea fact that said rapist is a douchbag rapist

is more appropriate.

Chet Evans is a convicted rapist, out on license, who, while campaigning against his conviction, with the help of his girlfriend and girlfriend's family (inc. a lot of her father's money), has hounded his victim through at least 5 different locations and identities. Quite frankly I don't know why he's not been locked back up. The fact that he's trying to re-establish his life while systematically destroying his victims life is beyond fucked up.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 12:35 PM on January 10, 2015 [18 favorites]


Convicted rapists participate in certain careers, I presume, because of their proximity to and power over others (and, in particular, children). That's a legal matter, and the courts have not seen fit to add 'professional footballer' to the list.

The second question--"what company would hire back a former convict?"--is one of reputation, and has nothing to do with the law.


From the first link in the post: "But a footballer isn’t in charge of children or vulnerable people, he is not a threat. Why shouldn’t he be allowed to play?

Not a threat directly, no, but footballers are idolised, and – rightly or wrongly – presented as role models. Regardless of how he has acted since his release, allowing him to walk back on to a pitch to cheers makes a mockery of what he has done. Do we really want his face decorating the bedroom walls of young fans?"
posted by 23skidoo at 1:13 PM on January 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


what company would hire back a former convict

He's a rapist out on license. Completely different thing.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 1:37 PM on January 10, 2015



Excluding Evans from professional football- I can understand that, it's a PR public position. But I would like all the pro-exclusion posters here to define their criteria for former convicts.

In other words, what types of employment would you allow Evans or other sex offenders to pursue? And I don't mean facetious cracks about "sanitation waste management".

If you believe in the theory of rehabilitation, you have to make allowances that permit an individual to have a meaningful career and an opportunity to make a life for themselves.

And if you don't believe that, then just say so. Own it. Accept that you want sex offenders to be permanently imprisoned.

But I think there is an intellectual dis-honesty present, in that some advocate for the theory of rehabilitation while being quick to scorn and condemn any actual instance of an individual seeking rehabilitation.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 2:59 PM on January 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


i see many comments in this thread of people saying he does not seem to own up, and thus cannot be rehabilitated, of his crimes. i see people pointing out that he still seems to be connected to a harassment campaign against his victim. this is not sex offenders should be banned from work and locked away forever, but rather discussing an individual case of whether a rapist who hasn't completed his punishment should be hired for a public facing, very pr-focused job.
posted by nadawi at 4:13 PM on January 10, 2015 [9 favorites]


If you believe in the theory of rehabilitation. Own it.

I do. But Evans clearly doesn't. And Evan's victim absolutely certainly doesn't.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 4:17 PM on January 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


In other words, what types of employment would you allow Evans or other sex offenders to pursue?

For one, ones not involving him being a public figure or role model. The criterion for being rehabilitated to that standard is (or at least should be) far higher than for being let out as a free member of society.
posted by acb at 4:27 PM on January 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


But I think there is an intellectual dis-honesty present, in that some advocate for the theory of rehabilitation while being quick to scorn and condemn any actual instance of an individual seeking rehabilitation.

Let me clear so there's no "intellectual dis-honesty" going on. At no instance has Evans sought rehabilitation. He's spent his time on license denying the rape and has had a website that his girlfriend's family set up to antagonise his victim.

And if you don't believe that, then just say so. Own it.

Just for those continued offences against him victim I would send him back to prison for the rest of his sentence, and then throw the rest of the bastards in with him for harassment.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 4:29 PM on January 10, 2015 [9 favorites]


"If you believe in the theory of rehabilitation, you have to make allowances that permit an individual to have a meaningful career and an opportunity to make a life for themselves. "

In what way does this apply to the topic at hand
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 4:31 PM on January 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


MisantropicPainforest:

I would say there are four or fiverelated inter-woven debates within this thread:
(1) Whether Evans received a proper amount of punishment and sentencing for his actions;
(2) Whether Evans can be considered rehabilitated;
(3) Whether felonious convicts should be allowed to return to a prior career, where it as a sport career or other public career
(4) What actually constitutes adequate rehabilitation
(5) What professions and what options should be allowed to felonious convicts, and what professions they should be disqualified from.

Evans crime is a heinous subject, and a hot button. And what I am perceiving is a lot of "Hanging's too good for him" attitudes. You seek to blackball Evans from his prior profession- very well, understandable. Excluding him from law enforcement, education, any position of authority- entirely valid and reasonably based. Shall we require him to keep a distance from all women at 1000 feet (an extreme example, granted)?

At a certain point, you need to set a distinction upon what rights and what legal activities should remain to ex-convicts. Should they have a right to vote? To seek employment with whoever is still willing to employ him? How long should we pursue and pressure? Out of professional football? Out of all professions within the sporting world? Should we organize a boycott of Tesco's if they decide to hire Evans as a shopboy?

Like Freedom of Speech, Rehabilitation is a concept that is easy to defend in the abstract, but difficult to accept in the concrete, when the speaker is Charlie Habdo, or when the individual is Evans. I am inclined to agree with Marina Hyde's assessment: if you feel the sentence is wrong, then you should seek to reform the law. Reform the rules of evidence, the structure of sentencing hearings, anonymize the defendant to the sentencing judge (so that appearances of affluence, race, etc. are extinguished, leaving only a work-sheet of legally relevant factors and arguments), impose mandatory minimums, raise mandatory minimum sentences.

I have no problem if you believe that Evans should not be a free man in the first place, and that his present condition represents a failure of the legal system. But I have a considerable problem with the pursuit of ex post facto punishment, even after an unrepentant and obnoxious man.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 10:26 PM on January 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


And if you don't believe that, then just say so. Own it. Accept that you want sex offenders to be permanently imprisoned.

But I think there is an intellectual dis-honesty present, in that some advocate for the theory of rehabilitation while being quick to scorn and condemn any actual instance of an individual seeking rehabilitation.


I think that sex offenders who serve pitifully small sentences and then return to lives that are effectively unchanged are certainly not likely to be rehabiltated.

But your question is, do I think they can be rehabilitated? And I don't know that I do. Certainly, the research I have read about (not all, certainly, I am no expert) is not encouraging. Is the repeat rate so bad because sentencing is too light, or would any amount of sentencing not be sufficient? I don't think we know that, though again, I would certainly be happy to hear more about what research has been done.

It is possible that our society is so saturated with pro-rape attitudes (or rather, women-as-disposable-sexual-devices attitudes) that rapists simply can't be made to believe that what they are doing is really wrong, and that makes rehabilitation difficult. Murderers tend to still believe that murder in general is wrong, just not the one they happened to commit because of whatever reasons. Whereas rapists don't seem to really believe that rape is a crime, or actually does any harm, or that any harm it does matters or should matter. Which is a different hill to climb, when rehabilitation is being discussed.

I am also certain that many of the same people who think he should not be allowed to play football anymore also would like the laws reformed such that punishment for rape is more in line with the severity of the crime. It is not an either/or proposition.

In the world we happen to live in, where rape is both under-prosecuted and under-punished, when it is not outright ignored or even condoned, it is hard not to look askance at worries that a particular rapist, who was unlucky enough to be caught, prosecuted, and sentenced, would afterwards be unable to find employment or be trusted.
posted by emjaybee at 11:57 PM on January 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


Let me spell it out for you LeRoienJaune: Evans clearly isn't rehabilitated because he and his family continue to harass his victim.

We can talk about how we should treat rehabilitated criminals when they are actually rehabilitated.

But I have a considerable problem with the pursuit of ex post facto punishment, even after an unrepentant and obnoxious man.

Wait, you have a problem with non-legal forms of punishment against rapists?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 4:25 AM on January 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


What professions and what options should be allowed to felonious convicts

Oh, please. We're not talking about a burglar or insurance fraud here; we're talking about an unrepentant, calculating rapist. That makes a world of difference.
posted by acb at 6:52 AM on January 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


LeRoienJaune - the thing you keep glossing over is that his sentence isn't done. he's out of prison, but not out of the system. the question that's in front of us is - should a rapist, who is still serving his sentence and still involved in harassing his victim, be hired by teams who are super concerned with pr and have a lot of interaction with the public. this is so far removed from the question of what jobs should be available to convicted rapists.

no one is looking to pass a law to make it illegal to hire rapists into sports. the audience of football and the consumers of the products they promote are saying they will not sit quietly by while a team hires a still in the system rapist who is harassing his victim. it really seems like you're saying, "but what if all the details were different?? then the comments in this thread would be grotesque!" well, maybe so, and maybe the comments would go exactly the same way - but in this specific situation, your complaints don't match what is happening.
posted by nadawi at 8:18 AM on January 11, 2015 [7 favorites]


It's a really interesting case.

I think the idea of "repentance" is a bit of a red herring. People can fake apologies, especially criminals that are good at manipulation, AND the way the system works allows for the possibility of wrongful convictions in good faith (none of the sentences go, we'll imprison you until you admit your guilt, or we'll never let you out).

I also think the idea of "free market" forces preventing him from being hired so it's fine is a bit of a red herring as well. We might as well say that the "free market" also leads to overall lower earnings by women, and that's fine. Not letting him play is completely rational (judging by the facts: he's a convicted rapist and unrepentant = statistically high chance of re-offending regardless of the individual facts of the case, and the negative PR effects are real) but being rational isn't a catch-all excuse, because that's the same argument you can make to not hire people of a certain race when statistics show they have a higher likelihood of being criminals. Sure, being a rapist isn't a protected class, but at this point we're arguing about ethics / morals and what should be done, not what "can" be done under the law. If we're just going by what's lawful then there's nothing to stop us going, well let no one ever employ him again and let's condemn him to eternal homelessness, nothing in the law stops us from doing that and feeling that justice is done.

If he's found guilty of harassing someone, then by all means let's punish him to the full extent of the law.

I don't think there are many good outcomes once you make the choice to convict and imprison criminals. It's no wonder exile was a popular choice in the past. (then again, see how Australia turned out, hah.)
posted by xdvesper at 5:01 PM on January 11, 2015


If we're just going by what's lawful then there's nothing to stop us going, well let no one ever employ him again and let's condemn him to eternal homelessness, nothing in the law stops us from doing that and feeling that justice is done.

I say, that's a handsome-looking strawman you've got there...
posted by acb at 5:53 PM on January 11, 2015


If we're just going by what's lawful then there's nothing to stop us going, well let no one ever employ him again and let's condemn him to eternal homelessness, nothing in the law stops us from doing that and feeling that justice is done.

This is such platonic shitposting.

Ignoring that this is a strawman, this guy is incredibly privileged. He could retire and live a fantastic life, likely providing quite well for his children, family, wife/girlfriend/etc and leaving behind a nice inheritance for whoever he likes.

And even ignoring that, there's absolutely an element of wingnut welfare here. Even if he ended up at the very lowest end of that, he could do announcer voices for sports games or consult for EA/2K on them or something. Not to mention that he likely has quite marketable skills as a private coach, personal trainer for athletes(or rich people who want a pro-athlete advising them on how to get all buff the pro way) and just a ton of other stuff related to his career so far.

And you're really ignoring the fact that this dude could kick back on the beach drinking Courvoisier XO for the rest of his goddamn life, and his freaking grandkids would probably still be living in the fancy frat house at harvard unless his kids really stupendously blew it all. Dude was making 1.57 million dollars a year(a bit over 1.04 million pounds).

He will never be homeless unless he intentionally throws all his money away. And he could immediately come back from that basically any point, just from his connections and such.

Also his parents seem like they're rich, if not wealthy.

What happens to these kind of ultra-high-paid public figures is entirely 100% disconnected from what happens to the average joe in the same situation, and what the punishments mean. He could literally be barred from gainful employment for his entire natural life and still live "the good life".
posted by emptythought at 8:39 PM on January 11, 2015 [6 favorites]


He has served the custodial part of his sentence, reformed or not.
If an employer wishes to employ him in any legal capacity, that is their business, but they must also wear the opprobrium of the fans & public if they make that decision.
A lot of comments here read like they are dissatisfied with current sentencing laws, and this might be a great example to have them reviewed, but there shouldn't be official/government sanctions added to this guy's sentence because he is a celebrity.
Judicial punishments are developed to be applied consistently, not ad hoc because the public happens to have good visibility of a celebrity's crimes as opposed to the many similar or worse cases that float below the radar.
But similarly, if he is responsible for harassment of the victim he should be prosecuted for that, just as we would hope anybody harassing a victim of crime would be prosecuted.
posted by bystander at 4:18 AM on January 13, 2015


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